May 6, 2011
IAMC Spring Forum Summary:
The Industrial Asset Management Council’s Spring Forum held In Albuquerque last week was attended by 360 members. The forum offers a good place for economic development professionals to meet with “actives” and “service providers” in a professional yet, relaxed setting.
Actives are typically corporate real estate executives or asset managers for some of the larger Fortune 500-type companies. These folks are the ones who either make a location decision or are part of a team making a site decision. They are typically very involved in the management of the portfolio of buildings, construction of those facilities, and other operational issues such as logistics and production.
Service providers are all other members who don’t fall in the actives category. That would include brokerage firms, architects, site selection consultants, accountants, contractors, lenders, economic development groups and others. IAMC doesn’t have many contractors/developers/architects in their ranks. Most of the service providers are usually site selectors, brokers and E.D. people.
IAMC currently has about 500 members, so a large portion of the membership was at the forum. About one-third of the attendees were “actives”.
The Forum is all about education and networking. IAMC does a good job of having at least one “motivational” speaker and many very good speakers.
This Forum began with a networking reception and dinner on Sunday evening. After dinner, Team Texas hosted a hospitality lounge for about an hour, giving us more time to meet and greet with members. The buzz around the room on that particular evening was President Obama’s announcement regarding the demise of Osama bin Laden. However, I did have a chance to renew my acquaintance with several people I met in Virginia during last year’s Fall Forum.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez spoke during the opening session, followed by a very good motivational speaker, Sam Glenn. For more information on how he feels attitude can make a huge difference in our lives you can visit his website at: samglenn.com. By the way, he’ll make you LAUGH!
I attended educational sessions on the new FASB-IASB changes to lease accounting that will have an impact on economic developers and the people we work with. Call me to discuss this further, or let me know if you’d like for me to set up a short presentation on this. I sat in on a workshop on LEED and sustainability issues. Other educational sessions included discussions on Foreign Direct Investment, Use of social media in our jobs, LEED and whether it is worth the investment, global supply chains and impact on manufacturing, some peer-to-peer sessions where we discussed ways that service providers can help actives, and more.
Our Texas group sponsored a dinner at a local winery where we invited numerous actives and service providers. I sat at a table with a broker from NAI Global, a real estate attorney from Chicago, a professor from NYU (who happened to be a speaker on intellectual property), an active from Arlington, and one of Conway Data’s editors. The conversation was lively and varied. The company was entertaining. And they all showed an interest in learning more about our region.
Throughout the Forum, I sat with different people during the meals and had opportunities to not only promote our region, but to understand their needs. One of my goals during these types of sessions is to be able to be a source of information for actives. Whether the question is about South Texas, Mexico or some other area of expertise for me, I’d like for these guys to be able to call and ask for our help.
One of the actives I met had asked about trying to get a contractor in Sao Paulo for a clean room they were looking to construct. I was able to put him in contact with some people I met back in 2003 during a trip to Sao Paulo. So I hope this medical device manufacturer will remember and call us for his next facility need.
Another contact I met in Virginia wasn’t able to attend, but called me a couple of weeks ago just to touch base and let me know why he wouldn’t be around. I guess my other goal has been accomplished to some extent – actives become friends.
I won’t go into the details, but that particular active and I are now friends. We share information on our families and our upcoming activities with each other. I’m sure when the time comes; he’ll look for us to help him. Another one of these friends, keeps telling me he is coming down (has some facilities in Mexico) and wants to open up a few service centers in our region. Unfortunately he has to focus on the 10 largest markets in the US first, so we will eventually get his attention, but not today.
Well, that’s a summary of some of the activities at the IAMC Spring Forum. Call me or come to lunch with me if you want more details.
Have a great day!